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2004 ALSTON / BANNERMAN FELLOWS 

TUPAC ENRIQUE ACOSTA

Phoenix, AZ
A long-time activist for indigenous rights, Tupac Enrique Acosta is a founding member of the community based organization Tonatierra in Phoenix. He developed Xinachtli, a cultural curriculum, which has been implemented in area public schools, and created Chantlaca, an indigenous international trade center. At proceedings of the United Nations, Tupac has served as representative of Tlahtokan Aztlan, a traditional council that upholds the sovereignty of the original nations and Pueblos of the territory of Atzlan. Through his work with the Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor, he is helping to revitalize the historic and sacred connections between indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

MARTIN GONZALEZ

Portland, OR
From his start as a Chicano movement activist, Martin Gonzalez has been a committed internationalist, striving for peace and justice at home and abroad. In the 1980s, his work focused on Central American solidarity. Since then, with the American Friend Service Committee and in his role as a local leader, Martin has helped create many community-based organizations, businesses and multi-cultural alliances, including the Latino Network, Consejo de Asistencia a Movimientos Independendientes del Noroeste (CAMINO), the Cascadia Network for Justice and Peace and a citywide campaign against police brutality. Recently, he was instrumental in launching Escuela de Lideres Comunitarios Magdalena Mora , a community leadership school using popular education methodology.

LORI GOODMAN

Winslow, AZ
Lori Goodman has been an integral part of Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment since the organization began in 1988 with a campaign against a toxic-waste incinerator. An all-Navajo organization, Dine CARE works with grassroots activists in communities across the Navajo Nation to defend the land and traditional culture. The organization provides legal advocacy, technical assistance, training, fund-raising support and campaign coordination. Recently, Lori served as Communications Director for a historic first coalition spearheaded by Dine CARE of Navajo, Pueblo, Latino and Anglo victims of radiation exposure. They successfully pressured the U.S. Congress to extend federal compensation to all uranium workers and downwinders.

BENI IVEY

Atlanta, GA
An activist for civil and human rights since the 1960s, Beni Ivey has worked on countless voter education drives and helped raise millions of dollars for progressive organizations and political campaigns. She co-founded the Georgia Black United Fund in 1975 and continues to provide fundraising support to emerging community groups in the South. Since 1993, Beni has been Executive Director of the Center For Democratic Renewal , the nation's leading organization documenting hate crimes and assisting communities with strategies to combat racism, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and homophobia. CDR recently launched a documentation and organizing effort encompassing a broader array of human rights abuses, including police violence and attacks on immigrants.


JOHN JACKSON

Los Angeles, CA
A Los Angeles native, John Jackson's first organizing effort was a successful work stoppage he led while in prison. Since 1996, John has been organizing the city's homeless, welfare recipients and day care providers. Under his direction, the ACORN Workfare Workers Organizing Committee, comprised of General Assistance recipients, staged numerous actions that convinced Los Angeles County to all but dismantle its Workfare program. He is now Director of California Childcare Providers for Action, an ACORN affiliate, which has 1,200 members in the county. CCPA has won back pay owed to providers and helped stop State budget cuts to childcare. John also has trained and mentors many organizers of color.


MARIAN KRAMER

Detroit, MI
A lifelong organizer, Marian Kramer has been at the forefront of the welfare rights movement since its inception in the 1960s. In Detroit and elsewhere, she organized poor women to fight for fair treatment and adequate income. In 1987, Marian spearheaded the reorganization of local groups into the National Welfare Rights Union and united NWRU with homeless and hunger organizations in a national Up and Out of Poverty Now Campaign. Currently, NWRU is focusing on U.S. violations of the economic rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While leading national efforts as NWRU Co-President, Marian continues to organize in the Detroit area around issues like the present shut-off crisis that has left thousands of residents without water.


CHAVEL LOPEZ

San Antonio, TX
Starting in his home town of Hondo with the Brown Berets, school walkouts and Raza Unida Party in the 1970s, Chavel Lopez has been organizing in South Texas for over 30 years. In 1988, he co-founded the Southwest Workers Union , an independent grassroots organization of workers and residents of low-income communities. SWU has grown to 1,650 members and its successes include securing living wages for public school workers and influencing the cleanup of environ-mental contamination surrounding Kelly Air Force Base. Chavel has emphasized developing home-grown and inter-generational leadership and has vigorously promoted cross-border organizing and involvement in global justice networks.

SOFIA MARTINEZ

Albuquerque, NM
As an organizer, teacher and journalist, Sofia Martinez has devoted more than 20 years to collective efforts to resist exploitation, intolerance and white supremacy. She is a long-time producer of progressive radio programs and co-founder of Voces Feministas , a radio collective of women of color. An early leader of SWOP, she is a co-founder of Cambio, a community organization working with women and youth on issues of education, environmental justice and the arts. In 1999, Sofia returned to her home town of Wagon Mound in northern New Mexico where she organized the fight against a dangerous landfill. She is President of Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound and Mora County, formed to address waste and land use issues countywide.

PETRA MATA

San Antonio, TX
Petra Mata is a founding member and co-coordinator of Fuerza Unida , established in 1990 to demand fair treatment from Levi Strauss when the company closed the San Antonio factory where she worked. An organization of immigrant women, Fuerza Unida addresses employment and economic issues from the local to international level. Petra concentrates on leadership development through programs like the sewing coop that gives women a source of income while integrating them into the political work of the organization, and on fundraising that help ensure the organization's financial and political autonomy. Petra is also co-chair of the Border/Labor Justice Campaign of the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ) .

PREXY NESBITT

Chicago, IL
Beginning with his participation in the Mozambique Liberation Front's fight for national independence in the 1960s, Prexy Nesbitt has devoted himself to anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles across several continents for four decades. He was smuggled inside South Africa during the apartheid years to conduct training sessions with labor, community and church groups in remote areas of the country while in the United States he played a major role in initiating divestment campaigns on campuses and anti-apartheid campaigns in key cities. Prexy has been a union organizer, teacher, writer and mainstay of progressive activism in Chicago. He continues to work on building US support for Africa through the American Friends Service Committee Peace Building Unit.

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